The Islamic community feels “that we are living in the safest country in the world, we never expected anything like this could happen, said Mustafa Farouk, president of the Islamic Associations of New Zealand
WELLINGTON (AFP) — New Zealand’s Muslim community was in shock on Friday after dozens were killed in deadly terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, on what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as one of the nation’s “darkest days”.
Here are some facts about the Muslim minority in the South Pacific nation, where a majority of citizens consider diversity desirable:
There were just over 46,000 Muslims in New Zealand during the last census in 2013, a mere one per cent of the total population. The number of people identifying as Muslims rose by 28 per cent between 2006 and 2013, according to Stats NZ, and just over a quarter of them were born in New Zealand.
Many in the New Zealand Muslim community are converts from other religions and from local or European ethnic backgrounds.